World History

c.600 B.C.E to c. 600 C.E



Confucius: According to Confucius, leaders were to rule by moral example. One of the most cross-culturally influential ideas that Confucius came up with was that of replacing people who rule because of a noble birth with people who become leaders based on their individual merit. These leaders would set the appropriate moral example for the rest of the population.

Confucianism: Confucius viewed that finding the right kind of leadership to rule China was essential to bringing back peace in China. This connects to the ancient Chinese idea called the Mandate of Heaven. Confucianism supported the view that leaders who ruled justly, no matter if they were of noble birth, were the choice Heaven had dictated for ruler. If a ruler did not lead uprightly and were overthrown by the people, this illustrated that Heaven did not approve of the ruler. Confucianism eventually became the most influential philosophy in China. However, the Confucianism that later ruling dynasties would accept was often combined with the harsher, less humanistic Legalism.

Era of Warring States: Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism all materialized in the same era in China. The name of this era is the Era of Warring States. In the Era of Warring States, a couple larger states collapsed into many smaller states. The larger of these states used advanced military technology in order to maintain superiority over the smaller states. Even though there were many wars in this period, it was still a time of great intellectual work, which the advent of the above belief systems indicates.

Government of the Phoenicians: The government of the Phoenicians was structured in largely autonomous city-states. The Phoenicians created city-states around the Mediterranean, one of their main ports being in Carthage. Their autonomous city-states had a great deal of social mobility, which included the government of Carthage being elected and not confined by class.

India’s Mauryan and Gupta empires: The Gupta Empire came after the Mauryan Empire and tried to follow the example set by the Mauryan leaders. The Gupta and Mauryan empires existed at the same time and were often at war with each other. Though the Gupta Empire came after the Mauryan Empire, it tried to distance itself as much as possible. The empires were similar in that the leaders of both were Buddhists. There was a similarity in how both the Mauryan Empire and Gupta Empire collapsed - Both were mainly due to pressure from outside attacks. Though both did have high taxation and Muslim invaders eventually came and had much influence on the culture, the true cause was outside attacks, mostly coming from the White Huns, nomads from the northwest.

Romans The Romans destroyed the Jewish second Temple around 70 C.E. and scattered the Jewish kingdom. In 6 C.E. the Jews had become a Roman province, but the Jews revolted (the first of what was eventually three revolts against the Romans). Nero was emperor initially in the first Jewish-Roman War but was replaced by his son Titus before the final siege that destroyed the Jewish temple.